New technologies turning Edmonds wastewater plant from sewage incinerator to green biofuels producer

Sewage treatment is not a topic that normally generates excitement. Quite the contrary, when we flush the toilet, we just want it to go away and not think about it further. But the hard truth is that there is no “away”– it all has to go somewhere, and traditionally that somewhere is in the air as greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and either landfilling or surface spreading the solid portion.

But that is about to change in Edmonds with the addition of new equipment being installed the in city’s wastewater treatment plant. Pioneered by Pittsburgh-based Ecoremedy, it promises to cut CO2 emissions to near zero, reduce the plant’s electrical consumption by a third, eliminate the need for fossil fuels necessary for the old incineration process, and convert residual solids into a marketable product that will not only stay out of landfills but will provide Edmonds with a new revenue stream.

Ecoremedy President Dave Mooney walks participants through the various stages of the process

An additional plus: The new process is self-sustaining, meaning that it produces more energy than it uses, turning what was once a sewage sludge incineration plant into a city-owned renewable energy producer.

In a presentation last Friday – appropriately timed for Earth Day – representatives of Ecoremedy met with staff from the City of Edmonds and other partner jurisdictions to provide an overview of the process and explain what to expect when the new systems comes online later this year.

Dedicated in 1991, the Edmonds wastewater treatment plant has served Edmonds and other partner jurisdictions for more than 30 years. But the plant’s aging incineration equipment, as it reaches the end of its useful life, is increasingly expensive to operate and maintain. And because it was designed for a different time, it does not fit with Edmonds’ current environmental goals to reduce the city’s carbon footprint, address global warming on a local level, and reduce municipal waste…

Read the full article by Larry Vogel on myedmondsnews.com